Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson win charity skins match in Florida

Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy celebrate winning the charity skins match in Florida
Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson celebrated their victory in line with social distance guidelines

Rory McIlroy wore shorts, carried his own bag and won £910,000 for charity with a nearest-the-pin shot as golf returned to television on Sunday.

The world number one was partnering Dustin Johnson in a skins game against Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff at Seminole Golf Club, Florida, USA.

McIlroy and Johnson ended up winning £1.53m to Fowler and Woolf's £951,000.

Viewer donations took the total raised to more than £4m, with the money being split between coronavirus relief funds.

In keeping with social distancing guidelines, there were no fans at the course and the players competed without caddies.

"It's only been nine weeks since the Players," said Northern Irishman McIlroy. "It feels much longer than that. We just went through an unprecedented time so it was nice to get back out there.

"It's a different setting than what we're used to, but to get those competitive juices going again, it was nice to feel it."

And those juices were clearly evident on the sudden death tie-breaker.

In a skins game, players compete for money on each hole, with the prize carrying over to the next hole if there is no winner.

And after the final six holes were halved, a bumper £910,000 pot had to be won on a sudden-death tie-breaker hole.

The players returned to the 121-yard par-three 17th and Wolff hit his tee shot to about 18 feet. His playing partner Fowler hit into a bunker and Johnson followed him into the sand. McIlroy, playing last, hit his tee shot to about 13 feet to win the hole and money.

It meant McIlroy was responsible for winning eight skins and contributing £1m, with Johnson claiming three skins. American Fowler won all seven skins for his pairing.

England's Mel Reid tweeted that golf had missed an "opportunity to represent equality" by not having any women playing in the event.

"Yet again we show the disparity between men's and women's golf," she said, adding that the "charity event should showcase 'golf', not just men's golf".

Players carrying their own bags at Seminole Golf Club, Florida
With no caddies allowed, the players were left carrying their own bags round the course

Last week, McIlroy was critical of Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the US president responded when he phoned in to the show.

"A lot of them [golfers] are very political, actually. A lot of them like my politics very much and some don't, I guess," he said.

"The ones that don't, I don't get to see as much."

However, Trump added it was "wonderful" to be watching the likes of McIlroy again after "getting a little tired watching 10-year-old golf tournaments where you know who won".

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